David’s Solo Tron: Legacy Review

27 Dec

In the last week, I have seen Tron: Legacy twice.  After the first viewing I was at a bit of a loss as to how to review the movie.  So, I decided to take a few days and think about it.  I thought the best way to do this would be to let the film digest for a little while.  Then my family came in town and the opportunity to see it again came up.  What better way to help with what was fast proving to be a surprisingly difficult review to write?  So, Christmas Day I saw Tron: Legacy for the second time.  And I am still not quite sure how to review it.

Let me explain.  I grew up on the original Tron, as well as video games in general.  I loved it.  My favorite Nickelodeon show was the really lame game show where you got to be inside a video game.  Later, I realized they were just in front of a green screen and I was heart-broken.  But my dreams of getting into a video game lived on through Tron and the Nintendo cartoon Captain N: The Game Master.

Now that I’m slightly older, I rarely harbor dreams of jumping through a television or computer screen.  But I still love to watch Tron.  In fact, I watched it two weeks before the sequel came out and it was just as magical as I remembered.  All of that is to say that I had a lot riding on this movie.  I wasn’t sure what watching it was going to be like, and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to properly compose sentences after watching it, let alone a review.

Now, I have seen it twice.  I have to tell you that this is not going to be an honest review.  As a self-made/part-time/pseudo film critic, I try my absolute best to keep that in mind when I watch movies.  What works, what fails, what needs to be discussed, all that important stuff.  Well, all of that flew out of the window while I was watching Tron: Legacy.  Sitting in the darkened movie theater, watching the opening credits, and listening to Jeff Bridges do a voiceover about the highways and vehicles found on “the Grid”, I became a small child again.  I was utterly and completely lost in the same dreams that I had as a child.  And there was no coming back from that.

My only hope for composing anything that resembled a proper movie review was my second viewing, and believe me, I had that in mind as the lights went down.  But as soon as Daft Punk’s magical score began playing, I was lost all over again.

I can tell you a few things.  First, every single thing in this movie looks amazing.  The lights, the colors, the costumes, the vehicles, the landscapes, and even the actors themselves—they all look beautiful.  Secondly, this is an action movie.  There are chases, fights, and explosions, and they simply don’t stop for about 2 hours.  Thirdly, this movie has the best soundtrack I’ve heard in a very long time.  Bravo Daft Punk.  And fourthly, if you grew up on Tron, then you will love Tron: Legacy.  If you don’t, you’re an idiot and you don’t really remember Tron at all.

I will also say that I was surprised at the acting in this movie.  Obviously, we all expect Jeff Bridges to be amazing.  But I had never seen Garrett Hedlund in anything besides Eragon, and that’s not saying much.  Olivia Wilde is the same way—her resume isn’t exactly stunning.  Combine the actors’ inexperience with the fact that Joseph Kosinski had never directed any movies before, only some commercials for Halo and Gears of War, and I was a little nervous going in.  But these fears proved to be groundless.  I’m now looking forward to the next Kosinski film, and I will definitely be watching out for both Hedlund and Wilde.

I’m sure there are some problems with this movie.  I’m sure some of the techno babble doesn’t actually make sense if you think about it.  But this is actually where the movie succeeds, because I simply did not care about any of that the entire time I was watching it.  I was happy and enthralled through the length of the movie both times I watched it.  And honestly, how often does that happen?

Go see Tron: Legacy.  It’s awesome.


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